The old way of doing business included a physical storefront or office. One of the benefits of physical storefronts was the sales assistant – in the case of a physical office, it’d be the gate keeping receptionist. Customers could always rely on someone being there to field questions and send them in the right direction.

And here comes one of the biggest downsides of digital business….there’s no one there to man the shop. Customers have to resort to a really well thought out website with a strong site map and navigation tools to ensure they’re guided in the right direction. Even still, there will always be questions, and if those questions or doubts go unaddressed, you risk losing your customers.

One of the ways to deal with this problem is to implement a “help desk” or a digital ombudsman who can make sure they’re putting all their marketing and sales experience to use by fielding questions and turning an inquiry into a sale. You can us a live chat feature, or be really creative with one of the choices here…

The Help Desk Process

Named as an app that’s designed to give you (and your customers) peace of mind, ZenDesk offers four key features, including: a ticket system, macros settings, triggers and mobile phone support. A ticket system is really key for any help desk since it gives both sides a digital and trackable trail. The ZenDesk bonus is that tickets aren’t necessarily first come first serve, which could confuse and thwart efforts to separate “red flag” questions from your run of the mill ones. The app lets you reprioritize tickets based on need using “triggers” that you can set up to flag queries with keywords in them.

The next step in the help desk process is making sure you’re not wasting your time with communications that should be automated. The general “thank you for contacting us” type responses should be on auto-pilot so you or your staff aren’t wasting time with those emails.

At the end of the day, not all customers want to communicate via email and some questions need direct contact. ZenDesk allows the user to do just that through mobile apps for all major phones, including the iPhone, Android, BB and even the iPad. This lets you make sure your customers can talk to a “live” person when they need it. The feature is great for a small business with limited staffing to a one-man show where you’re wearing all the hats and can’t be tied to a desk all day. This way you speak to someone when it matters.

The service is affordable for even that one-man DIY type, including a 30 day trial to make sure you’re happy with the return. With a $9 “Starter” Plan all the way to just under $100/agent for an “Enterprise,” it’s really a very small dollar investment to make sure you’re covering all your bases.

Top Help Desk Software and App Competitors

ZenDesk has some aggressive competition, including Kayako, Tender Support, Get Satisfaction, Vision Helpdesk, os Ticket, Helpdesk Pilot, Mojo Helpdesk, DeskPRP and Cerb5. While their features overlap, ZenDesk stands out with the multiple features it offers, including multi-channel integration, help desk page branding and the ability to integrate into CRM solutions (such as Salesforce and Highrise) and business applications (including Google Analytics).

How a Help Desk Factors into Marketing

A significant part of any marketing effort is to make sure your company’s image is well-received by a target audience. If your website, branding and other marketing materials are fantastic, but your end user can’t get simple questions answered or speak to a live person, then all prior efforts are wasted. A central help desk solution is really the last peg when it comes to a comprehensive strategy to attract and keep customers.


作者 Shireen Qudosi

Shireen Qudosi is Benchmark Email's Online Marketing Specialist and Small Business Advocate. An Orange County based writer, Shireen specializes in online marketing and public relations. She has written for over 75 publications and has launched nine successful new media campaigns to date. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Denver Post, the Oklahoman and Green Air Radio, among others.